Several eyewitnesses have narrated how the 21-storey building under construction in the Ikoyi axis of Lagos State caved in and crashed onto the ground on Monday.
The building, which was located at Gerrad Road in the Ikoyi axis of Lagos State, collapsed around 2pm and had scores of persons trapped in the subsequent rubble, including the owner of the building, Femi Osibona, Managing Director of Fourscore Heights Limited.
Four persons have been feared dead while four others were rescued and taken to the hospital.
Recounting how the incident happened and how he escaped, Gabriel Bassey, a worker on the site, while speaking to journalists including NewsBreak.ng reporter said he stepped out to charge his phone when the building suddenly turned to dust and a huge pile of rubble.
He said, “This project, 360 Degree, was built by Fourscore Homes Limited. I was trying to plug my phone and not up to five seconds that I left the spot, I saw the building coming down and I ran to safety. We have a lot of people trapped in the rubble, who we need to bring out.
“When the incident happened, we brought out six dead bodies and we still have like 30 Togolese and Nigerian bricklayers and four engineers and other workers. My boss, Mr Femi, is still trapped in the building. He was on the 18th floor with some of his clients, who wanted to buy the building, when the incident happened.”
Another eyewitness, Morris Ashiobi, who is a resident in the area, said the building did not give any warning sign that it was going to collapse.
“The building didn’t give any sign, it just came down. We were still working on it. It took an hour before the emergency agencies came and we had brought out the dead bodies and rescued one person before they came. If I’m not mistaken, about 40 persons were on site, because we were working at the time. Some people came from Abuja today (Monday) to work. I have many friends still trapped in the building.
He also narrated how he was among the first few to rescue those trapped inside the building.
“He said: “When the incident happened, I was the first person to climb the building to the last floor and I saw corpses. I started calling people to come and rescue others. We recovered six dead bodies, rescued one, while the rest are still under the rubble”.
He also added how the police bridged the rescue mission by stopping them from going into the building.
“When the police came, they chased us out and didn’t allow us to rescue anyone again; if they had allowed us, we would still have rescued more people,” he added.
Blessing Feyijimi also corroborated Ashiobi’s claims about the police restricting volunteers on the ground from entering the building to rescue more people.
He said: “When the incident happened around 1:36 pm, we started rescuing people but the security men locked the gate and didn’t allow people to enter. We protested and forced our way in. We recovered four dead bodies on the last floor and rescued four injured persons, but some people are still trapped in the rubble.”
Emergency responders at the scene included the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, National Emergency Management Agency, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Lagos State Fire Service, Federal Road Safety Corps, police, army and paramedics.